Monday, August 22, 2011

Perchance to Dream

I heard somewhere that Stephenie Meyer came up with the idea for the Twilight Series in a dream.  I realize some of you may have just thrown up in your mouth a little, please bear with me.  Sparkly vampires and vanilla plots aside, what I really want to focus on is the concept of dreaming stories.  I would be surprised if more writers don't do this.  That is, take a concept from dreaming and make it into a story.  I know I have a few ideas rattling around in my skull that I originally dreamed.  Of course the flip side of that is, just because you are an aspiring writer and had an awesome dream, doesn't mean it will make sense when put to paper.  In the case of Stephenie Meyer, she probably should have left the sparkly bit out.  Just my opinion, mind you, but that is what people seem to focus on the most.  Of course, she did make gobs of money on the story. Her books were on the best seller list and are probably still in the top 100 sellers on  Movies were made for all four books and there was even one movie parody.  It also spawned a whole slew of books involving teenage vampire romance books that seem to have cluttered up the science fiction/fantasy section of your local bookstores.  I didn't intend to spend so much time on Ms. Meyer, but oh well.  It happens.  We take a shower, wipe off the smut, go on with our lives and try to forget the horror and shame.

As for dreaming stories, it does happen.  Our subconscious mind is unfettered.  The filters we put into place are gone.  Of course, we lose continuity and any sane perspective, but if we parse out the gobbledygook, sometimes we can find a kernel of a story.  Before I started seriously writing, I had a dream that I thought would make an interesting story.  I haven't done much with it because I realized that at least one of the characters in my dream may have been a little too similar to the Gunslinger from Stephen King's Dark Tower series.  If I want to seriously write this story, I'm going to have to change him.  I could just barrel on and ignore the similarities.  A simpler solution, but I would hate to get on Mr. King's bad side.  I am a big fan of his and would hate to annoy him (that and he's kinda scary).

The story is still in its infancy (see above), but the gist is this.  On one side we have an empire/country that is heavy into mechanical things (maybe a little steampunk in their concept).  Either way, they are all about the machines (possibly dwarven made?  cliche yes, but still).  On the other side, we have another country/race/empire that is all about magic and nature, etc.  Both sides are at war, etc.  At the heart of it all is something called "the Unity Stone" which was made with both magic and machine at is supposed to bring peace to the land.  A knight of the mechanical world and a sorceress of the magical realm have to put the two pieces together.  The dream involved their meeting.  It didn't turn out well for either party.  Bad guys on both sides of the war have altered the stone and it doesn't work the way it was supposed to.  Just the basics on the dream, but that was what it was.  The more it tumbles in my brain, the more it starts to feel like a real story.  We'll see.

Till next time.